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Dr Michaela Benson (Goldsmiths)

Title: In-house ethnography: creating a sense of place through narrative and filming

In this paper, I draw on my recent research with selfbuilders—‘where the first occupants arrange for the building of their own dwellings and, in various ways, participate in its production’ (Duncan and Rowe 1993: 1331)—to explore ways of conveying a sense of place and how this is experienced by occupants through ethnography conducted within domestic space. Through the simultaneous presentation of narrative and participant-produced home tours, I question the value of mixed methods for the production and communication of ethnographic research.

bensonBio: I am a Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths College, with research interests that include the intersections of class and space, belonging, imagination and migration. I have recently completed a multi-scalar ethnography of selfbuild in Britain funded through the ESRC Future Research Leaders Funding Scheme. My publications include the monograph The British in Rural France (MUP, 2011), the coauthored book The Middle Classes and the City (Palgrave, 2015), edited volumes on lifestyle migration and articles in a range of journals including The Sociological Review, Sociology, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Mobilities, Migration Studies and the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. She is on the board of trustees of the Sociological Review Foundation, where she has oversight of Early Career Researcher initiatives.

Dr Robert Gibb (University of Glasgow)

Title: Some questions and reflections on working in/across different languages in a collaborative research project

Abstract: Drawing on my recent experience of conducting research in a new (to me) place (Bulgaria) and language (Bulgarian), I will raise some questions for discussion about language hierarchies and the relationship between language and power both in research teams and ‘in the field’. I will also reflect on some issues relating to translation and interpretation, and to being ‘less than fluent’ (to borrow Annabel Tremlett’s term) in the main language used to conduct the research.

P1020466Bio: I studied Social Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, and am currently a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow. As a Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded ‘Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law and the State’ ( I have recently been carrying out research in Bulgaria for a case study on ‘Working and Researching Multilingually at State (and European Union) Borders’ (in collaboration with with Dr Julien Danero Iglesias). In Glasgow I teach courses on social theory at Honours and Masters levels, and in the past I’ve offered courses on refugees and on the state.

Dr Ipek Demir (University of Leicester)

Title: Diaspora and Translation: Conceptual Borrowings

 My presentation will examine how the insights of translation studies can enrich studies of diaspora. As those who have led and defended the ‘cultural turn’ in translation studies have argued, translation is in fact always a site of ‘gain and discovery’ (Bassnett and Trivedi 1994: 4). It is also a site of ‘erasure and exclusion’ and of violence (Venuti 2008). Through an examination of how diasporas choose to translate the home and their ethno-political struggles with the home, we can discover what they deem as significant, and how, if at all, they can make their stories ‘palatable’ to the host community. I will focus on some of these possible conceptual insights which a focus on ‘translation’ can bring to the study of diasporas by discussing the difficulties the Kurdish brokers face, as well as the various coping mechanisms they employ, when they translate the Kurdish struggle and rebellion to British audiences and to their 2nd generation.

image_mini.jpegBIO: Dr Ipek Demir (PhD, University of Sussex) is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Leicester. She previously taught social sciences at the Universities of Sussex, Cambridge, and Open University and was an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Cambridge. She recently held an AHRC Fellowship, examining how ethno-political identity is represented and translated by Kurds (of Turkey) in London. Demir served as the Vice- Chair of ESA’s Sociology of Migration Research Network is the founder and co-coordinator of BSA’s Diaspora, Migration and Transnationalism (DMT) Study Group.

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